Now, as somebody that hates to admit they’re wrong, I can totally relate to ‘Mad’ Mike Hughes, the self-taught scientist who this weekend tried to launch himself into space in an attempt to prove his theory that the Earth is flat.
Hughes, who engineered the steam-powered rocket himself, had big hopes that his mission would be a success. However, that dream ended rather sharply when his homemade rocket plunged back to Earth, landing hard in the Mojave Desert – approximately 1,500 feet from the launch site in Amboy, California.
The launch, which was initially scheduled for last November, finally had takeoff after being delayed by mechanical concerns. Having selected a patch of barren land near Amboy as his launchpad, ‘Mad’ Mike braced himself for the moment he’d long been waiting for.
Watch the moment he achieved lift off…
Since declaring that he’d fly to space in a homemade rocket, ‘Mad’ Mike has been met with a great deal of criticism from those who have deemed him a “crackpot” fool. Yet despite the cruel comments, the 61-year-old limo driver has captivated a great deal of attention.
Even former NASA astronaut Jerry Linenger, who spent 143 days in space in 1997, was enthralled by Mike’s mad mission. “I hope he doesn’t blow anything up,” he said skeptically before going on to add: “Rocketry, as our private space companies found out, isn’t as easy as it looks.”
But Mike hasn’t let the doubters dilute his determination. Instead, he has fiercely fought back against them on social media, taking to Facebook to call out his critics.
In a 12 minute video, he addressed those who claimed his mission was “crazy” by saying: “Do I believe the Earth is shaped like a Frisbee? I believe it is. Do I know for sure? No. That’s why I want to go up in space.”
On March 24, Mike prepared to prove those who opposed his outlandish plans wrong by climbing into his homemade rocket. At 15:00, he braced himself for liftoff as his tiny contraption rattled into action. Reaching an estimated speed of 350 mph, Mike soared into the sky before pulling the parachute at 1,875 feet.
As his rocket plummeted back to Earth, Mike deployed the second parachute to slow himself down and cushion the impact. However, he still landed with a thud, causing the rocket’s nose to crack in two places.
Asked how he felt having thrust himself into the sky, Mike simply said: “Am I glad I did it? Yeah. I guess. I’ll feel it in the morning. I won’t be able to get out of bed. At least I can go home and have dinner and see my cats tonight.”
In the future, Mike plans to launch himself again, but this time outside of the Earth’s atmosphere. Oh and he also plans to run for governor. “This is no joke,” Hughes said. “I want to do it.”
Given his track record of seeing through his plans, we have no doubt that ‘Mad’ Mike Hughes’ name will be on your ballot papers sometime soon! But the question is, would you vote for him?